Thunglamo Ngullie is remembered as one of finalists and runner-up of “Naga Idol 2012”. He is a member of Zowe Madrigal and a Vocal teacher at Musik-A, The Institute for Music Education, Pilgrim school and Octet school of Music and Milestone.
With his soulful voice, Ngullie firmly believes in touching lives through music as he shares us his musical journey with Rhythm of Love.
EASTERN MIRROR: Tell us about your early phase into the music industry? How would you describe your sound/music?
Thunglamo Ngullie:: I started singing like everyone else….since my childhood (hahaha). I never thought I would take it as a career. Eventually after graduation and involvement in Church activities made me realise that music was more than a hobby…and that’s how I became more serious with music and that’s how the real music came into being after graduation.
My kind of music is more like church music and later on progressed to commercial.
EASTERN MIRROR: How did Naga Idol happen? How has your life changed since Naga Idol? What was the vital experience and lesson you took with you from Naga Idol?
Thunglamo Ngullie: It was not planned and I made a decision in a month after coming across an advertisement and auditioned for Naga Idol 2012. I never thought I’d make it to the finale and the feedback that I received was really encouraging. I concentrated more on music after Naga Idol and have shaped me to be a performer at the same time. I also realised that choice of song is really important along with how to maintain professionalism. It has put more value by helping me meet other musicians and talented people.
EASTERN MIRROR: You are a part of Zowe Madrigal. How did that happen? How did it change you musically and artistically?
Thunglamo Ngullie: Zowe Madrigal happened to me during my stint on Naga Idol where Nise Meruno was also the Judge. I remember him telling me to come and take formal training from him. After taking a month break I called him up and underwent training under him at Hope Centre. Right after Grade 8 in classical music and contemporary rock, Meruno invited me to join Zowe Madrigal.
Zowe Madrigal changed my life to another level because through ZM I was able to travel around the world share our story of folk music and music talent that we have. The most important thing after Naga Idol was Zowe Madrigal. I was planning to be solo artist but being a part of Zowe Madrigal, it made me realise that there is so much of learning about music when in group through the exposures and from each other.
EASTERN MIRROR: Who do you consider to be your most significant musical influences?
Thunglamo Ngullie: I have no one in particular one but of course the Church which has provided platform to me has been a major influence. As an artist Whitney Houston and R Kelly have been an influence.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are the unidentified challenges faced by the music industry of Nagaland?
Thunglamo Ngullie: The music market in Nagaland-although somehow it is picking up, there is no market to sell our music. The musicians make a living only during season and to survive we turn to teaching other than performing. Nagaland has produced a lot of talent and the music industry has become competitive which is challenging as well although the market opportunity is few. Another challenge is Musicians fail to maintain consistency, mostly of the poor market.
EASTERN MIRROR: You are working as a vocal teacher at various music institutes. What are the challenges and rewards that come from working as a music tutor?
Thunglamo Ngullie: Music is a slow process and we Nagas want things to happen rapidly and the same expectations come from parents. As a tutor, we try hard to meet those expectations and in the process we miss a lot as a teacher. We are not inquisitive as well and take time to open up. Only recently proper course has been introduced in music schools and we don’t get all facilities and necessary info especially for teachers, which is challenging. Helping students to realise their calling as some are pushed into this field is also another big factor that we go through as a teacher.
As a music tutor, seeing students improving not only in music but in their personality through music is a satisfying reward.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are some common opinion people have about the music profession?
Thunglamo Ngullie: Years back people considered music as a time-pass and not a profession but now people are realising that one can make a living through music which is encouraging. Having said that-earning through music should come along with hard work. Music is also a trade and I am positive that five years from now, the industry will change.
EASTERN MIRROR: Do you think competitions are helpful for young musicians?
Thunglamo Ngullie: We do not have any proper visual Channel so I will be honest that competitions, in a state like ours is not encouraging because contestants end up spending more money than what one receives through selling of votes. Such system will drain a person’s resources instead of helping realise one’s talent. Voting through money is not competition so I will not encourage anyone to participate in shows that have voting through cards.
EASTERN MIRROR: What are your plans for the future with regard to your music?
Thunglamo Ngullie: My strength is in teaching and performing more than recordings. Although I have a few originals which are not recorded, composed schools and event anthems, I have no plans to release originals. My interest is more into performing and teaching and I am forward to do my masters in music.